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Weekend arts forecast: Rod Wave’s birthday bash

Bill DeYoung



St. Petersburg singer and rapper Rod Wave, 25, will release his fifth album Sept. 15. Its four predecessors have gone platinum. Publicity photo.

At just 25 years old, St. Petersburg’s Rodarius Marcell Green is one of the brightest stars in the hip hop universe. Professionally known as Rod Wave, the singer and rapper is celebrating his recent (Aug. 27) birthday with a Friday concert at Amalie Arena, with guest performers yet to be named.

Starting with his 2019 single “Heart on Ice,” Wave rose to prominence on TikTok and YouTube. A remix featuring Lil Durk single climbed to No. 25 on the Billboard chart. The single was included on Wave’s debut album, Ghetto Gospel.

Wave accumulated over 15 billion streams in less than five years.

The Lakewood High school graduate with the gruff-pleading voice and the smooth, seductive style has released three additional albums on Universal-owned Alamo Records: Pray 4 Love, SoulFly and Beautiful Mind. All four have gone platinum, selling a million or more copies.

Said Pitchfork in a review of Beautiful Mind: “Rod Wave songs tend to span a handful of subjects – bad memories, getting money, navigating haters, reminiscing on lost love, or any combination of the four. But it didn’t matter how many times you’d heard him sing about waiting at bus stops with headphones in; he sells these tried and true stories with conviction.”

Wave’s fifth release, Nostalgia, is due from Alamo Set. 15.

For tickets to the Friday show, click here.

Here’s “Fight the Feeling” from the new album:

NeedToBreathe (“Walking on Water”) is at the Seminole Hard Rock Event Center tonight. Find tickets here.

Ska-punk band Sublime pairs with reggae rock outfit Slightly Stoopid for a show Saturday at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater. Find tickets here


The time has arrived for the 2023 Tampa Bay Theatre Festival, two full days (Saturday and Sunday) of full-length plays, short plays, competitions, workshops and parties at several Tampa locations. And Friday night is a performance of Trying to Make It, a new show from festival founder Rory Lawrence. Here’s our story from earlier this week, laying it all out.

The cast of Rory Lawrence’s “Trying to Make It,” performed Friday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival. From left David Best, Victoria Bowers, Marjorie Joseph, James Swallow, Brianna Borello, and Lance Felton. Photo provided.

Chester Gregory is at freeFall Theatre with “A Motown Celebration.” Photo provided.Singer and actor Chester Gregory is onstage at freeFall Theatre, with a crack three-piece band, performing a collection of classic R&B songs in the show A Motown Celebration. Find tickets, and more information, here.


The Weekend arts forecast appears every Thursday in the Catalyst

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You can also submit your events to the Catalyst calendar, by clicking here.

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